For this weekend’s reading list, we have a report on the importance of labor unions to creating a strong middle class; historic Labor Day speeches by John Lewis, Frances Perkins, Walter Reuther, and Harry Truman; and articles on the dangers facing workers in numerous occupations.
Unions Make the Middle Class – a report documenting how labor unions strengthen the middle class by providing working people with a voice both on the job and in our democracy.
Labor and the Nation – labor leader John L. Lewis explained in his 1937 Labor Day speech the importance of labor unions for achieving social justice, and the underhanded and sometimes violent tactics used by opponents of labor to undermine unions.
Speech on the Social Security Act – FDR’s Secretary of Labor, Frances Perkins, speech on Labor Day 1935 celebrating the passage of the Social Security Act.
Labor Day Address - United Auto Worker President Walter P. Reuther’s 1958 Labor Day address in which he explained the importance of a strong labor movement to creating a strong economy and dividing up the economic abundance that would result.
Labor Day Address in Cadillac Square, Detroit – President Harry Truman’s 1948 Labor Day address in which he kicked off the Presidential campaign by focusing on how a Republican victory would threaten worker’s right to organize.
Happy Labor Day. Here’s the Best Reporting on Worker Safety – a collection of articles on the dangers facing workers in poultry plants, warehouses, and chocolate factories, and on the frequently inadequate enforcement of workplace safety laws by OSHA.
Tags: collective bargaining, Frances Perkins, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John L. Lewis, Labor Day, labor unions, New Deal, organized labor, right to organize, Social Security Act, United Auto Workers, Walter Reuther